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Tails From the Vienna Woods

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Benelux

Oh! Luxembourg! Part II

Saturday dawned wet and windy, though perfect for exploring the 1.000 year old Bock Casemates. Long story short: in 963 a mighty Count built a fortified castle atop Bock promontory, and thus Luxembourg was born. By the by, the Burgundians, the Spaniards, the French, the Austrians and the Germans added their signatures to create the, “Gibraltar of the North” with 3 fortified rings of 24 forts and a 23km tunnel city-like network. Because much of the casemates could not be demolished without destroying parts of the city once Europe was “settled,” they remain, with several kilometers open for independent touring. In a word, amazing!

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Oh! Luxembourg! Part I

Tony and I, as proud parents of an extremely talented violinist daughter, are beyond thrilled to support her and her accomplished peers by attending the annual international school honor orchestra concert. This isn’t a “participation trophy” style event; more than 160 violinists alone from across European, Asian, and South American high schools auditioned last autumn for 42 chairs; and the performance reflects the caliber of those selected.

So it was to The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg we flew this past Friday, to tour the medieval capital city and to attend the performance, this year hosted by the IS Luxembourg and performed in their Conservatoire.

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The Netherlands in 23.5 Hours

It was a tremendous first-world privilege to be able to catch a flight to Amsterdam on Saturday for a few hours of sightseeing before attending the Association of Music in International Schools European Honors Orchestra performance, this year being hosted by the American School of The Hague.

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Throwback Thursday: The Netherlands

Tony and I will be in The Netherlands on Saturday, the principal reason for our short getaway being to attend the European Middle School Honors Orchestra and of course, to hear our favorite violinist perform. We as a family spent a week in The Netherlands in Spring 2011, but, leave it to us, there was one quintessential Dutch icon we somehow did not see.

We bicycled around the canals and crooked houses. Amsterdam really does look like this!

Postcards from Brussels

Brussels, like so many European cities, is best experienced in person rather than through photographs. The Guild Houses that line Grand Place are stunning, yet I most appreciated them in the waning hours of my final afternoon, while finally sitting down for my one and only non-on-the-go meal at a warm and sunny outdoor table.

Ooh la la, Bruxelles!

 

I am in Belgium on a 52 hour holiday to cheer on the AISV varsity boys in their basketball tournament. In between I am trying to sneak peeks of the city.
An early observation of “Paris’ little sister” (totally my term) is the prevalent and heady aroma of chocolate and waffles. This is not a bad feature at all. The aroma of certain Metro stations (and the aroma wafting from the guest locker rooms at ISB), though, is not a good feature at all.
Other observations while I finish snapping and sorting city photos…
Brussels has a street named for butter! And the good people of this city are not afraid to use it, either.

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